Microsoft isn’t just announcing new games for the upcoming Xbox Series X; the company also announced that several recent Xbox One games will be getting upgraded for the next-gen console with new features and better graphics.
Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Sea of Thieves, and Gears Tactics are the five games that Microsoft has announced will be getting the “Optimized for Xbox Series X” badge this holiday season, with a variety of upgrades coming to each of those games. Players who already own a copy of any of these titles on Xbox One will get the optimized Xbox Series X for free whenever they do launch, thanks to Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program.
Here’s how everything breaks down:
- Forza Horizon 4 is getting “higher fidelity graphics,” 4K / 60fps gameplay, Quick Resume, and faster load times
- Gears 5 will see faster load times, Quick Resume, and “Ultra” setting 4K HDR graphics for both campaign and multiplayer modes
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps is getting higher-fidelity graphics and faster performance (120fps / 4K HDR / 120Hz)
- Sea of Thieves will “take advantage” of the “advanced hardware” on the Xbox Series X, although Microsoft didn’t give specific details. It is the only one in the group to have a more specific release date, though: the optimized upgrade will be available on launch day alongside the Series X.
- Gears Tactics will offer 4K / 60fps gameplay
Notably absent from this list is Minecraft, which Microsoft has previously shown off with even more substantial Xbox Series X enhancements than the aforementioned games, including far more realistic ray-traced lighting, although it’s possible that overhaul is simply coming later on due to the increased complexity.
It’s important to note that these five titles are just the first ones that Microsoft is specifically optimizing for the Xbox Series X with new improvements. The Xbox Series X will be able to play nearly any Xbox One game (outside of those built for Kinect), thanks to backwards compatibility, though they may not have the same level of improvement as these specifically optimized titles.